When I was in college at Wake Forest, I was one of the founding members of an academic society that was resurrected by a couple of my friends. I was recently searching around for some of the web work I did back then (some prime examples of the “early web”). Couldn’t find anything except this: an excerpt from The Howler (WFU yearbook).
Joseph Barker, Thomas Bedington, Jenny Blackford, Emily Brewer (Founder), Russell Bruch, Alex Cappiello, Ellen Davis, Julie Davis (President), Sarah Gulley, Melissa McCahe, Elizabeth O’Donovan, Kerry O’Hagan, Jennifer Rapp, Angle Roles (Honorary Member), Melissa Shields, Charles Starks (Vice-President), Christopher Whidden (Founder), Danielle Whren, Jesse Wilbur, Kevin Woods (Honorary Member).
The Euzelian Society Academic Society celebrated its third year back on campus this year. The Society sponsored a fall colloquium series exploring human rights issues and a spring colloquium series exploring interpretations of the Apocalyse. Among the social events this year were a trip to the Holocaust Memorial in Washington, D.C, a poetry slam atop Hanging Rock, a trek back to Old Wake Forest, a planning retreat on the North Carolina coast, a week-long celebration of the Renaissance in April, concluded by a Madrigal Banquet. The Society motto, “I will find a way or I will make one,” and the Society symbol, the Greek upsilon, both symbolize a collective attempt to create a forum on campus for intellectual discussions outside of the classroom. Besides the semester-long colloquium series, the Society holds social events that try to combine the intellect and the spirit. All Society events are open to the Wake Forest community. Remember: If you have a mind, Euz it!
Nerdy, yet satisfyingly at the edge of what was going on at WFU at the time.
Riding in the back of a cloying yellow cab coming from LaGuardia heading south on the BQE, the New York City skyline rises on your right. At night, it glitters and glows like the vast headpiece of an ostentatious monarch. During the day the bulk of the lower stories and infill of the shorter buildings create a solid mass, up from which rise the spires and towers of the skyscapers. The view causes a panoply of emotions to rise up, depending on the hopes and dreams and stories and knowledge in one’s heart and mind.
For me, that view has been a promise, eventually a comfort, and ultimately a threat. Once you see the the skyline as an endless row of jagged, ripping teeth, laden with menace and offering only the destruction of your health, happiness, and family, it’s hard to ever remember the joy that sight may once have stirred. Time, it seems, can make the threat seem less present, but cannot make it disappear.
Chicago is new to me, but it has never inspired as much fear or, on the other hand, offered as much promise. The skyline is manageable in a single sweep. The bulk is missing, since there aren’t consecutive rows of buildings, and because the streets are wider. The cleanliness speaks of less use by fewer people. The sense of urgency, crowding, and the pulsing energy that so many people speak of when they speak of New York, all that is missing. Instead there is the sense of loose edges where energy drifts off, unchallenged, into space. The center is empty here. Life is further out, and further apart, making it harder to see.
Reading this I thought, “Yes, that feels right.”
Subtraction.com: What It’s Like As a Dad.
It’s great being a father. I look forward to every day with my wife and my daughter.
We recently went through our books and wanted to know if anyone wanted any of them. We’ll be happy to hand them over or mail them to you if you’d like. Consider it doing us a favor – we need the shelf space.
I’ve linked to the appropriate editions, except where noted:
- A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Dave Eggers
- Speaker for the Dead, Orson Scott Card
- Special Topics in Calamity Physics, Marisha Pessl
- Water for Elephants, Sara Gruen
- Perfume, Patrick Suskind. Includes a personal dedication.
- Gulliver’s Travels, Jonathan Swift. International Collectors Library Edition (Hardcover leather bound, with illustrations by Jon Corbino).
- The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco
- The Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis.
- A Grief Observed, C.S. Lewis. Paperback edition with the same cover image. Foreword by Madeleine L’Engle.
- The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien. I taped the corners (non-archival packing tape).
- The Innkeeper’s Song, Peter S. Beagle. An earlier edition with different cover design.
- The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, Kim Edwards. New.
- Cold Mountain, Charles Frazier
- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson
- The Girl Who Played with Fire, Stieg Larsson
- Chronic City, Jonathan Lethem. No dust jacket.
- American Gods, Neil Gaiman
- The Lovely Bones, Alice Seybold. An older edition (before it got made into a movie by Peter “Hobbit” Jackson)
- On Chesil Beach, Ian McEwan
- Factotum, Charles Bukowski
- The Cheese Monkeys, Chip Kidd. No dust jacket.
- Service Included, Phoebe Damrosch
- The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
- The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams. Ballantine edition, 1995.
- Angels & Demons, Dan Brown. A very worn copy.
Reading this I felt like I was on fire.
If we were able to take as the finest allegory of simulation the Borges tale where the cartographers of the Empire draw up a map so detailed that it ends up exactly covering the territory (but where the decline of the Empire sees this map become frayed and finally ruined, a few shreds still discernible in the deserts — the metaphysical beauty of this ruined abstraction, bearing witness to an Imperial pride and rotting like a carcass, returning to the substance of the soil, rather as an aging double ends up being confused with the real thing) — then this fable has come full circle for us, and now has nothing but the discrete charm of second-order simulacra.
Abstraction today is no longer that of the map, the double, the mirror or the concept. Simulation is no longer that of a territory, a referential being or substance. It is the generation of models of a real without origin or reality: a hyperreal. The territory no longer precedes the map, nor survives it. Henceforth, it is the map that precedes the territory — PRECESSION OF SIMULACRA — it is the map that engenders the territory and if we were to revive the fable today, it would be the territory whose shreds are slowly rotting across the map. It is the real, and not the map, whose vestiges subsist here and there, in the deserts which are no longer those of the Empire but our own: The desert of the real itself.
Jean Baudrillard, “The Precession of Simulacra”
Developing a practice for interaction design:
A: make a list of my areas of interest:
- models of urbanism and planning
- ways to affect the landscape to decrease alienation
- situated information
- concepts of proper use
- collectivism and sharing
- construction of space and objects for use
B: make a statement about approach (subject to refinement, reduction, and complete rejection at any time):
I need to develop some approaches before I can make a statement about approach. The thinking is messy, and the goal is nebulous. Something will come out of the work that I can use.
C: make a plan about how to use the approach to explore the topics of interest:
(See B above)